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The Chicken Box Nantucket

Stories

2020 Resources

chicken box nantucket

Aside from the brewery, The Chicken Box is likely the most well-known establishment on the island. Even on the mainland, The Box (as it’s known locally) has a legendary following. It’s not uncommon for visitors to schedule their weekend around a trip to The Box or come over just for a particular show.

Their dedication to live music has brought some legendary acts to our little island, who may not have come otherwise — Bob Marley’s band, The Wailers, played there back in the 80’s and his son, Ziggy, played there just a few years ago. The Revivalists, who should have outgrown the small venue and moved onto playing sold-out arenas and stadiums, continue to return to what is most likely one of their most intimate shows of the year. Recent years have seen a number of other big names in the music business, including Blues Traveler, Matisyahu, Lettuce, Galactic, G. Love and Trombone Shorty.

Why is it called The Chicken Box?

Most people’s first question relates to its strange name. On an island full of nautical themed restaurants,  The Chicken Box sticks out like a sore thumb. While The Box is now infamous for its rowdy concerts and intense fans, it began as a humble restaurant serving fried chicken. 

Willie House from Kentucky, originally came to the island to work as a domestic servant for a wealthy summer family. Soon afterward, he refurbished a small, vacant shack far from town (at the time), and started selling southern fried chicken. As the business grew, Willie began booking blues and big band acts from New York and the box became a local hotspot for live music, as it remains today.

What’s Happening at The Box this Summer?

The real question is: What isn’t happening at The Box this summer? They have cancelled this summer’s big shows and moved everything outside to a peaceful beer garden. It won’t be the place to dance your heart out with a packed crowd. But it will still be The Box we know and love. 

They’ll be serving “cold beer and hot food” at their outdoor space. Their garden might not have their signature license plate wall art or pool tables, but it will still have some signature Box touches and a unique atmosphere. Not to mention, they’ll be food-focused for the first time in many years. Rumor has it their fried chicken sandwich is tough to beat. 

Time will tell how The Box continues to evolve throughout the summer. Regardless of what happens, we can’t wait to support them and create some new memories at one of our island’s most classic institutions. Check their Instagram for updates as the summer kicks into gear.

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